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Physical sciences  
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One of the greatest mysteries of all is what causes gamma ray bursts. These bursts are the most powerful explosions in the Universe and occur about once a day. Their origin is unknown, although there are several theories. Students learn about NASA's... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is an activity about spectroscopy. Learners will build a spectroscope and use it to observe various types of lights. This activity requires spectroscope kits and diffraction gratings available from the Stanford Solar Center... (View More)

In this experiment, students replicate a version of the 1800 experiment in which a form of radiation other than visible light was discovered by the famous astronomer Sir Frederick William Herschel. Students use glass prisms, thermometers, and... (View More)

In this activity, students demonstrate the relationship between wave frequency and energy in the electromagnetic spectrum by shaking a rope to identify the relationships. This activity is part of Unit 2 in the Space Based Astronomy guide that... (View More)

In this activity, students study the range of colors in a visible light spectrum created from either a glass prism or holographic diffraction grating. This activity is in unit 2 of the "Space-Based Astronomy" guide that contains background... (View More)

In this activity, students construct an analytical spectroscope and analyze the spectrum produced when various substances are heated or excited with electricity. This activity is part of Unit 2 in the Space Based Astronomy guide that contains... (View More)

In this activity, students perform a version of the experiment of 1801, in which ultraviolet light was first discovered by Johann Wilhelm Ritter. This experiment should be conducted outdoors on a sunny day - variable cloud conditions, such as patchy... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $5 - $10 per group of students

Thermal images of Earth allow for the visualization and analysis of temperature differences. With the aid of ATLAS thermal images of a shopping mall in Huntsville, Alabama, students examine the impact of the addition of buildings and the loss of... (View More)

This is an activity about wavelength and frequency. Using a 30 to 50 foot rope and two volunteers, learners will observe as one end of the rope is shaken and wavelength patterns are created. They will estimate the wavelength, the distance between... (View More)

Using a paper and tape device, students experience how atoms and molecules of gas in Earth’s atmosphere absorb electromagnetic energy through resonance. This activity is part of Unit 2 in the Space Based Astronomy guide that contains background... (View More)